I was so exited to get started on my Invisalign treatment and have been doing it for about a month. Everyone in my family and several co-workers and friends have come down with the flu. So far, I haven’t gotten sick. However, I think it’s only a matter of time.
Do I need to dispose of the Invisalign aligners if I get the flu? Usually that’s what I do with my toothbrush after being sick. But, the aligners are much more expensive. Do I have to have a new one made or can I sanitize it in another way without pitching it?
-Catie in North Carolina
Thank you for your question. Actually, throwing away your toothbrush after being sick is a ploy by toothbrush companies. You don’t need to dispose of your toothbrush after being sick and that also includes your Invisalign aligners.
The cold or flu is usually a specific type of virus. While you are sick, your body creates antibodies, which ultimately overcome the virus. Then, you start feeling better. When your body develops these antibodies, you should be immune to it. So, any germs or viruses left on your toothbrush or aligners would no longer make you sick.
There is always a possibility of picking up a new strain, while your body is busy fighting the current strain. In that case, you may get sick again or have a prolonged illness. But, the good news is that you don’t need to dispose of oral hygiene products. Viruses can be shared through saliva to another person. That is why you don’t share a glass with those that are sick. And washing your hands is always the best defense against cold and flu germs.
This is a good opportunity to remind you that staying hydrated during illness is imperative. Plenty of fluids and a lot of rest, as well as avoiding sugary drinks will help you get healthy as soon as possible.
Also, sugar in general (drinks, sweets, etc.) is really bad for Invisalign users. The sugar can become lodged on your teeth inside your aligners. This increases the risk for tooth decay too. So plenty of water as a general rule of thumb is a good practice throughout your Invisalign treatment. Always brush your teeth and rinse your aligners after eating or snacking too. These tips will have your smile looking straight and beautiful very soon!
This post is sponsored by York PA dentist Donald H. Currie, DMD.